How could you tour the ‘ Best of Kerala ‘ in a week?

Kerala is all about greenery, exotic beaches, shimmering backwaters and wildlife. It would take a month at least to explore all the travel gem spots spread throughout this so-called “God’s own country”, however you could have a taste of Kerala in a week and it is all about panning it rite.

Kerala

Let us help you with the best plan!

In a week you could cover CochinMunnar (Hill station), Thekkady (Wildlife), Alleppey (Backwaters) and Kovalam (Beach). Do remember to book a morning flight on the first day and an evening flight on the last day of your Kerala tour so you would get more time to enjoy yourself.

Now, here is the Kerala trip plan for 7 days-

1Night Cochin- 2Nights Munnar- 1Night Thekkady- 1Night Alleppey- 1Night Kovalam

  • Day 1: Arrive at Cochin

Do local sightseeing of Fort Cochin which includes the Dutch Palace, the Jewish Synagogue and the Fort Kochi Beach. Do some shopping if you wish at the local markets of Cochin.

Stay in Cochin.

Related:- Athirapally Waterfalls in Kerala, the “Indian Niagara Falls”!

  • Day 2: Cochin to Munnar [140 km, 4.5 hours]

Morning drive to the princess of hill stations, Munnar. On the way visit the Cheeyappara and Valara waterfalls. On reaching Munnar spend some time walking through the verdant grasslands and tea plantations of Munnar. Visit the Tea Museum and the Eravikulam National Park as per the time available. If not, cover the same next day

Stay in Munnar

  • Day 3: Munnar

Today enjoy sightseeing at Munnar. You could visit the Top Station, the most beautiful location in Munnar Hills as per the travellers. On the way, you would come across the Mattupetty Dam, where you could opt for boating along the Mattupetty Lake.

Stay in Munnar

  • Day 4: Munnar to Thekkady [110 km, 3.5 – 4 hours]

Today morning head to Periyar, which would take nearly a 4 hour drive through lush green mountains. As you reach Periyar visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, home to a lot of species of flora and fauna. Opt for a boat ride along the artificial lake inside the sanctuary. You have plenty of other adventure options as well, such as Bamboo Rafting, Night Trekking, Tiger Trail and many more.

  • Day 5: Thekkady to Alleppey [140 km, 4- 5 hour drive]

Today morning, drive towards the world’s most beautiful backwater destination, Alleppey. As you reach, hop on a houseboat and enjoy your houseboat cruise along the backwaters of Alleppey. Float through narrow canals, witness the local life of Alleppey people, enjoy the local Kerala style food prepared for you on board by the houseboat crew. Sit back, relax and enjoy the Alleppey sights.

Overnight stay in the houseboat.

Related:- Why Vizag tour is trending? Best tourist places in Vizag

  • Day 6: Alleppey to Kovalam [180 km, 4 to 5 hour drive]

Morning, disembark from your houseboat and resume your tour with a drive to Kovalam, a spectacular beach destination, often called as the “Goa of the South”. On reaching Kovalam, relax by the Hawa beach and enjoy rest of your day at peace. Enjoy the beautiful sunset from this part of the world. At night you could try the popular seafood at various food stalls by the Light House Beach.

  • Day 7: Kovalam to Trivandrum Airport [20 km, 20 mins drive]

Morning, engage yourself in a sunbath at the Hawa beach or get wet hitting the waves. Later as per your flight schedule, leave to the Trivandrum International airport or if you wish to do sightseeing at Trivandrum, leave 2 or 3 hours early than planned and visit the Padmanabha Swamy Temple, the richest temple in the World, the Napier Museum and the Kuthira Malika [Horse Palace]. Then drive to the airport and board your flight home.

Why Vizag tour is trending? Best tourist places in Vizag

This was coming! Vizag, previously known as Vishakhapatnam, has recently gained popularity among the travel community and is the next hotspot in travel. Situated in Andhra Pradesh and one of the largest city in the state, the port city of Vishakhapatnam houses the oldest shipyard in India. Vizag has a lot to offer its visitors.

Vizag

Starting from the exotic beaches of Rushikonda and Ramakrishna to the ancient Borra caves and the blissful hills of Arakku valley, if you are planning for a Vizag tour? Do not think twice, just set off a journey to enjoy a one of a kind travel experience.

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Below I am listing out the top tourist places in Vizag to visit-

  • Arakku Valley

Arakku Valley definitely tops this list of “Best tourist places in Vizag” owing to its rich greenery, stunning hills and awesome weather which every traveller craves for. A Vizag tour is never complete without making a visit to this paradise. It is nearly 1000 meters above the sea level and 120 kms away from the city of Vishakhapatnam [Vizag]. A day is not enough to see all places in Arakku Valley, it would take at least 2 to 3 days to fully enjoy Arakku. There are numerous spots to explore such as the Dumbriguda Waterfalls, tribal museum the Matsyagundam [Fish pool], the Tyda Park and more. Stroll through its lush green coffee plantations, spend time at the mountain tops, or get wet beneath the roaring waterfalls at Arakku Valley. The tribals of Arakku make one of the best varieties of organic coffee. The train ride to Arakku Valley from Vizag is pretty famous among travellers. It is the only train in India which reaches the highest point in the Eastern Ghats. The 4 hour train journey exposes you to some breathtaking sceneries of Nature.

  • Borra Caves

Located 88 kms from Vizag and 36 kms from Arakku Valley, the Borra Caves hold the title of the “Biggest Caves in India”. It was unknown to the outside world until 1807. Geologists date these limestone caves to be more than 150 million years old, YES! You heard it right, it is indeed 150 million years. At a height of 1400 meters above the sea level, the Borra Caves is a pure natural wonder. If you are into some adventure and love trekking, you would definitely enjoy the trek route up the Borra Caves. As you reach the caves, it would be a whole new world for you, you feel as if you have travel back in time. The air inside, the rocks, small waterfalls everything feels ancient. A visit to Borra Caves is not to be missed while exploring Vizag.

  • Rushikonda Beach

Are you a beach lover? Then Rushikonda is your next love. It is the most famous beach in Andhra Pradesh. Imagine the sight, golden sands clubbed with verdant coconut trees, sea waves hitting the rocky shoreline and the mouth-watering seafood. Do you love Adventure water sports? Surfing? Skiing? Yes? Rushikonda is for you. There are plenty of water sports options for you to get engaged and entertained with. Make a visit to Rushikonda Beach for a perfect beach holiday. Located just 40 km from Vizag it is easily accessible.

  • Bheemli Beach

Just 24 km from Vizag, this is yet another great seaside at Vizag. Bheemli Beach is of great historical importance. It was one among the major Dutch Settlements in the 17th Century and a major trading hub for the British East India Company later. A 16th century Dutch Cemetery and an 18th century lighthouse are the major attractions at Bheemli.

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  • Thotlakonda Buddhist excavation site

Located 20 kms from Vizag on the way to the Bheemli Beach is this ancient Buddhist site named Thotlakonda. It comprises of the ruins of a Buddhist monastery and an advanced center for learning where monks within India and from China, Burma used to reside and learn Buddhist teachings for months. The Thotlakonda Hills are clustered with Buddhist stupas, pillared prayer halls, meditation rooms, stone pathways and many water wells. Archaeologists state the area was active during the period BC 200 to AD 200. Thotlakonda is of huge spiritual importance for the Buddhists and definitely an entertaining site for the history fanatics who love to get deep into the history books. It is a must visit if you are in for a Vizag tour.

  • Katiki Waterfalls

90 kms away from Vizag and 7 kms from Borra Caves is this spectacular waterfalls named Katiki, also known as Katika. It takes a short trek of likely 25-30 mins through dense forest and hills to reach the falls and the trek route is simply beautiful and pleasing. This 100 feet cascading waterfalls is a delight for family travellers and offers many other exciting trekking routes for the adventure junkies and nature lovers as well.

  • INS Kursura Submarine Museum

The INS Kursura Submarine Museum is one of the very few submarine museums which retain authenticity and definitely a must visit spot in Vizag. The INS Kursura [S20], Kalvari-class diesel-electric submarine was India’s fifth submarine. It was of great use during the Indo-Pak war of 1971. The submarine was decommissioned in 2001 after which it is preserved as a museum for the public.

  • Tyda Nature Camp

Tyda Nature Camp, also known as the Jungle Bells Nature Camp is an eco-tourism project at a small tribal village known as Tyda. Set amidst the hills of Eastern Ghats, Tyda is located 70 kms from Vizag on the way to Arakku Valley. Established by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department and the Forest Department, it offers camping, rock climbing, trekking, bird-watching and many other exciting activities. Log huts and tents are available at the Camp. It is a perfect getaway for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

 

Athirapally Waterfalls in Kerala, the “Indian Niagara Falls”!

Often referred as the Niagra of India, the Athirapally waterfalls in Kerala is the largest waterfalls in the state. Falling from a height of 80m, this splendid waterfall is a delight to witness. It is situated in Chalakkudy [Thrissur district] on the 145 km long Chalakkudy River which originates from the Western Ghats and flows to the Sholayar Forest. The location is so beautiful that it has served as a setting for many blockbuster Indian movies like Raavan, Guru and Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se to name a few.

Athirapally

Though I have heard a lot about Athirapally Waterfalls, I never made a visit. Finally, last week I decided to travel to Athirapally. From my hometown Cochin, Athirapally is nearly 70 kms, a 2 hour drive. I started early morning 6am. There are 2 ways to reach Athirapally from Cochin, one is taking a right diversion after Angamaly junction which is the Mukkannur- Ezhattumukham road, and other is from Chalakkudy. I must say both ways to Athirapally are two of the most scenic routes you would have ever come across. I took the Mukkannur- Ezhattumukham road which comes shortly after the Cochin International Airport near Angamaly.

From Cochin, it is the shorter route. However, if you are travelling by car, I would suggest you pick the Chalakkudy route as i suffered a bit moving the other route. The Chalakkudy- Athirappally road is in good condition and therefore a better than the former. As I started driving through the Mukkannur- Ezhattumukham road, I came across some blissful sights of the countryside. No wonder people love this route. There were oil palms, rubber estates, gorgeous rivulets, and smiling estate workers all along. The route passes through many beautiful villages as well. I stopped at certain spots for few clicks.

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Take a look below-

I reached a check-post, where we need to buy the ticket to enter the Athirapally Waterfalls area. It is Rs. 30 per person. For still cameras, you got to pay Rs. 20 and Rs. 200 for video cameras. From there, nearly a 100 m away, there is a sweet spot for the visitors. We get a long yet spectacular view of the Athirapally Falls. The below is an image taken from the spot

A short walk from there got me to the Athirapally Waterfalls entrance. There are lots of food joints and other shops adjacent to the entrance. I started walking through the pathway inside. It takes a 10-minute walk to reach the first viewpoint of the Athirapally Waterfalls. From there I had a panoramic view of the waterways and the surrounding hills along with the side view of the majestic Athirapally waterfalls on to my right. You could see the same below-

A guard informed me to go for a short trek downhill where the “Big deal” is. I started the trek. The pathway is well laid out with bamboo handrails and also bamboo made benches for the visitors to relax during this downhill trek. I reached halfway, and unlike the guard said it did not feel like a short trek for me. I was heavily gasping for air. I sat at one of the bamboo benches by the side. Nearly half an hour gone, i still did not move. Maybe because I am so used to sitting at work for long hours that my body doesn’t like to overdo anything that burns my calories.

I resumed my trek. I guess it is more than half a km walk down the rocky hill. It is tiring, however, I could hear the roaring waterfalls near me, which pumped me to get through. At last, I made it. I saw a group of travellers looking up, standing in awe. I rushed towards them, and guess what- the same thing happened. I was awestruck too, I was lost for words.

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Well! Who would not? seeing THIS-

The sight is just brilliant. I just stood there for a while witnessing the river water gushing down the rocky landscape surrounded by lush green mountains. A blissful sight for any human eye. The feeling was great. I was standing right in front of the largest waterfalls in Kerala. This waterfall is not big, it is simply GINORMOUS! I sat on a rock and enjoyed the sight for more than an hour.

For me, this is one of the finest pieces of art by Mother Nature.

I highly recommend all travellers, especially nature lovers to make a visit to Athirapally Waterfalls and experience the love of nature at this part of the world.

Kerala: 5 things to do in Alleppey other than the Houseboat cruise

The Alleppey backwaters and the houseboat at Alleppey, both are not a new thing for the travellers. However, there are also other various exciting things to do at Alleppey which many of us never tried. Being an avid traveller myself and Kerala one of my favourite getaways,

houseboat

I myself have tried out a lot of things at Alleppey and I would say this unique backwater destination has a lot more in its lot than just the houseboats. Let me pick some of the other best things to do in Alleppey other than the houseboat cruise.

  • Cycling along the Alleppey countryside

Alleppey comprises of many serene and beautiful villages. You could pedal your way through its narrow roads sandwiched between lush green paddy fields, sandy pathways leading to some breathtaking sceneries and more. So if you do not mind burning your calories a bit, you will be rewarded with some of the blissful sights of the Alleppey countryside which you do not get to see during your Alleppey houseboat cruise. Ask your tour operator to get you a cycle at Alleppey, get on it and start pedalling.

  • Kayaking along the narrow canals of Alleppey Backwaters

Smell adventure? Yes, it does. Kayaking is a new trend in Alleppey among the young travellers. Of course, it demands a bit of physicality, however, those who feel they can handle it must try it out. It is another great way to explore and experience the heavenly beauty of the Alleppey backwaters. Do not go for the routine houseboat routes, pull harder, take random turns and paddle through the most narrow, yet spectacular waterways at Alleppey, which would take you to a whole different world at Alleppey. Enjoy!

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  • Village Walk

Now, this is another better idea for you to enjoy Alleppey to the fullest. Walk-Walk-Walk and you would come across the most unusual sights which, again, you might not see while you are in your Alleppey houseboat. Walk through the verdant paddies, the canal sideways, the rural villages of Alleppey and exchange few words with the locals. Witness their day to day life and learn how life moves in Alleppey. You would find you have learnt a lot more about this true gem of a place, which you never experienced or even heard of.

  • Canoe Ride

A ride on a country boat or a Canoe we say is yet another exciting way to explore the backwaters of Alleppey. It is not for everyone for sure because for some, it would be scary to row a small wooden boat. However, if you take a chance and try it, I would say it is thoroughly entertaining. It is slow as there is no motor pushing it forwards, but it is the local style of transportation and for a moment it feels like you are one among them.

You would come across many local residents moving on country boats as a part of their daily routine lives. People go for their work on these boats, people go shopping groceries on these boats and even children go to school on canoe boats. So if you are looking for a rather adventurous way to explore the backwaters, you must consider a Canoe ride.

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  • Witness Sunset at Thaickal Beach near Mararikulam

Alleppey boasts of some quiet and serene sea sides such as the Alleppey Beach, the Andhakaranazhi Beach and the latest hit among the travellers, the Marari Beach. However, I have found a new beach, very much secluded and stunningly beautiful, the Thaickal Beach. It is nearly 20 km away from Alleppey Town, but so what? If you want some time for yourself and your family alone by the sandy shoreline watching the waves pass by, this beach is perfect for you.

Sunset from here is so pleasing. There are stone walkways laid on the beach extending to probably 100 meters on the sea from the shore. Make your way to the end of the walkway, and enjoy your moment watching the sunset and disappears below the horizon. The reddish blue sky at dusk, the silvery sea and milky white shoreline of this gorgeous seaside is not to be missed during your visit to Alleppey.

Best Places To Visit In South India To Celebrate New Year 2020

Home to a superabundance of tourist destinations, South India offers a perfect backdrop for New Year celebrations. From fabulous New Year party destinations to exotic scenic locations, South India is sure to excite you with unforgettable surprises.

South India

We have picked up some of the best places in South India for you to bid goodbye to 2019 with a bang and kick start 2020 with bliss and ecstasy.

Have a look at the Best Places To Visit In South India To Celebrate New Year 2020:

Andaman and Nicobar Islands:

Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the gorgeous land of corals, turquoise beaches and jaw-dropping picture-perfect sceneries, is a fantabulous pick to celebrate New Year 2020. Families, thrill-seekers, adventure enthusiasts, nature lovers; no matter what type of traveler you are, you will thoroughly enjoy each and every moment spend at this spellbinding islands.

Get ready for some exhilarating adventure activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, etc and make your New Year awesome and an unforgettable one. Andaman and Nicobar Islands offer an ideal setting to celebrate New Year in ultimate peace and serenity as well.

Kochi:

Kochi celebrates New Year in the most unique and grand manner. Cochin Carnival is the main highlight of New Year’s Eve during which hundreds and thousands flock to Kochi to kick start the New Year by burning the massive statue of an old man named, Papaji. With immense fervor and zeal, they participate in the Carnival.

Kochi gets into a festive mode to welcome New Year and the Cochin Carnival offers a thrilling extravaganza of music, dance, fairs, food festivals, cultural shows, bike and cycle races, rallies, beach football, arts and games. Visit Kochi on New Year’s eve and have a blast. If you wish to celebrate New Year in Churches by attending midnight mass, Kochi offers some of the best Churches in the state.

Pondicherry:

The mesmerizing beaches and vibrant beach-side parties attract a lot of tourists to celebrate New Year in Pondicherry. This captivating Union Territory of India that still reflects a French Charm goes western this time with electrifying DJ’s, night parties, dance, music, bonfires, etc.

Apart from parties, the peaceful Ashrams in Pondicherry offers a laid back experience. For a blessed New Year’s eve, visit the beautiful churches in Pondicherry and attend the solemn New Year service. Explore Pondicherry this New Year and have the most memorable time at this beautiful destination celebrating the beginning of the New Year.

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Goa:

Famous for bustling beaches, lively night parties, live music and rocking DJ’s, Goa is an epic spot to be at to celebrate New Year. The main highlight is the Sunburn Festival. It is one of the most popular New Year Carnivals, filled with interesting people, delicious seafood and free-flowing booze.

Goa is not all about parties and beaches. If you wish to celebrate New Year in a spiritual and peaceful way, Goa offers you some of the best Churches in the country like Basilica of Bom JesusSe CathedralChurch of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, etc. A moonlight cruise over River Mandovi is an amazing way to treat yourself this New Year.

Visakhapatnam:

New Year’s eve in Visakhapatnam is truly exciting with parties, dance, music and fireworks. It is yet another must-visit place in South India during New Year to bid adieu to the old year and to welcome the new. Visakhapatnam hosts some of the best New Year Parties in the state where you can have a grand celebration.

If partying is not your cup of tea, then enjoy the celebrations gazing at the spectacular New Year Fireworks in Visakhapatnam at some of the best destinations and rooftop restaurants in the city. Visakhapatnam also offers many mesmerizing getaways where you can indulge in some of the vibrant New Year events.

Bangalore:

Travel to Bangalore this New Year to enjoy the grandest New Year celebrations. Bangalore hosts serene parties within resorts, filled with dance, music, fun and frolics. The party halls and disco houses with exciting themes and celebrations are other interesting features you come across in Bangalore.

Apart from parties and celebrations, Bangalore offers the best time for shopping and exploring nature as well as other tourist attractions like historical monuments, wildlife sanctuary, national parks, etc.

Varkala:

If you wish to welcome this New Year in the midst of nature, then Varkala is the best pick. Varkala, a picturesque destination in Kerala is drenched in spellbinding natural beauty and possesses serene beaches, beautiful lakes and red laterite cliffs offering a visual treat.

Celebrating New Year at this mesmerizing location will be as exciting as ever. From Varkala Beach to Anjengo Fort, there are many popular tourist attractions in Varkala to enjoy a New Year getaway.

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Ooty:

This lovely hill station makes way for a peaceful yet fun-filled New Year celebrations amidst Mother nature. Ooty is an epitome of serenity and tranquillity where you can enjoy a quiet time beholding the sight of rolling hills, green-carpeted valleys and the awe-inspiring sunset views.

You can also find New Year parties in various venues in Ooty. The beautiful ambiance of the place and its rustic charms offer you a unique experience of celebrating the New Year. Visit Ooty and have a great New Year celebration here.

Gokarna:

The land of stunning beaches and alluring landscape, Gokarna also caters to the interest of party lovers. You can enjoy pub dance, new brews, or visit the lovely beaches for the New Year parties. Hangout at the popular tourist spots for a joyful getaway.

Gokarna also provides you with endless opportunities to relax and unwind at its mesmerizingly beautiful setting. Explore Gokarna and make this New Year most cherishable one.

Lakshadweep:

Celebrate this New Year lavishly with your family at the most enchanting destination like Lakshadweep. Tranquil islands, azure waters, pristine beaches, exotic coral reefs, unique freshness in the air and serene ambiance makes Lakshadweep one of the best places to visit in South India to welcome New Year 2020.

One can relax at its beautiful beaches overlooking the picturesque surroundings or exploring the colourful coral reefs through scuba diving or indulging in other adventure activities.

Best Romantic Destinations In South India For This 2020 Valentine’s Day

The season of Love and Romance is here! Hey Lovebirds, what’s your plan for this Valentine’s Day? Believe me, there is much more than just expressing your love by gifting a bouquet of red roses, sharing a warm hug and a passionate kiss or proposing her with an expensive diamond ring.

Valentine’s Day

A romantic escape, your sweetheart could ever dream of, away from the rest of the world, just you two and the romantic setting as the backdrop, to spend memorable moments with the love of your life and fall in love with each other all over again. What better gift could you think of to surprise your loved one than this? So, get ready to take your darling away to the most romantic places of your dreams this Valentine’s Day to celebrate your love.

If you are looking for a romantic getaway in South India for this Valentine’s Day 2020, the list is here and all you need to do is just take your best pick:

Alleppey – An Absolute Delight For Couples:

The enchanting view of dazzling backwaters, dotted with a dozen houseboats, glittering green paddy fields, coconut trees swaying in the wind and the blue sky in the backdrop, rustic charm of the villages nearby, awe-inspiring sunset views, rejuvenating Ayurvedic couple spa and thrilling kayaking are an absolute delight for couples visiting Alleppey. This romantic backwater destination is just an awesome place to take your sweetheart for this Valentine’s Day.

Ilaveezhapoonchira – With the Love of Your Life Cherish the Most Romantic Sunrise and Sunset:

There is no better romantic moment than cherishing the most spectacular sunrise and sunset with the love of your life by your side. Ilaveezhapoonchira, one of the most adorable tourist destination in Kottayam district of Kerala which is known for breathtaking panoramic views and unparallel natural beauty, offers the perfect setting for this priceless romantic experience.

Wayanad – Propose Her at the Backdrop of Heart-Shaped Lake:

The natural heart-shaped lake (Hridayathadakam) at the Chembra Peak, surrounded by a bed of crisp green meadows makes for a romantic backdrop to propose your valentine. Chembra Peak is deemed as the highest peak in Wayanad district of Kerala, noted for its stunning scenic views and the beautiful Hridayathadakam, making it one of the best places to be at during Valentine’s Day.

Valparai – Share Warm Hugs & Kisses Amidst the Spellbinding Nature: 

A gleaming little green gem full of visually soothing natural vistas, Valparai in Tamil Nadu, is an enchanting place for you and your partner to disappear this Valentine’s Day. Express your love, share warm hugs and kisses amidst the spellbinding nature and make her feel special. The gorgeous beauty of the surroundings and the company of your love makes for a truly mesmerizing moment at Valparai.

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Romantic Nilgiri Mountain Rail – To Surprise Your Valentine with a Romantic Train Ride:

Surprise your valentine in a very special way with a romantic ride in South India’s iconic Nilgiri Mountain Rail that offers a delightful medley of the adrenaline rush, romantic feel and adventuresome vibe. Nilgiri Mountain Rail is one of the key attraction of Ooty hill station and a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is said to be the steepest rail route in Asia that takes you on a thrilling ride up and down the lush green valleys, winding tunnels and dense forests.

Kotagiri – A paradisiacal Setting to Make your Valentine’s Day more Special:

Take your sweetheart to the ever-charming Kotagiri that offers a paradisiacal setting endowed with luscious green meadows, endless tea plantations and perennially cool climate and make your Valentine’s Day more special. Kotagiri is Nilgiri’s oldest and the prettiest hill station which is snuggled at the towering height of 1985 m above the sea level and is situated in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Munnar – To Fall in love with Your Sweetheart Forever:

An iconic romantic destination in Kerala with awe-inspiring scenic views, pristine natural beauty and the most soothing climatic conditions, Munnar is a fantabulous place to fall in love with your sweetheart forever. The rolling mist-clad mountains, visually captivating green tea plantations, spectacular waterfalls, winding lanes, lush meadows, dense forest, terrace hillocks and thrilling trekking spots makes Munnar a paradise for couples.

Golden Chariot Train (For Luxury Travel) – A Romantic Dreamy Affair For Luxury Lovebirds:

Valentine’s Day 1

This is really gonna be a romantic dreamy affair for every luxury lovebirds, a sojourn through the romantic destinations in South India in luxurious fashion in the Golden Chariot Train. Pride of South Circuit and an enduring symbol of luxury elegance, royal treatment and a superlative off-train excursion, the Golden Chariot Train is the first and only luxury train in India that offers tours to Southern India.

Goa – For a Lovely Beach Retreat with Your Bae:

A lovely beach retreat in Goa is one of the best ways you can celebrate your Valentine’s Day with your bae. It is one of the much-loved beach destinations in South India. Not just the gorgeous beaches, but also the stunning forts that portrays an old-world charm and mind-blowing Portuguese architectures of Goa will provide a great romantic setting for couples to celebrate their love.

Kumarakom – Celebrate Your Love at the Romantic Backwaters: 

Nothing can beat the romantic vibe you feel, cruising the darling backwaters of Kumarakom in a houseboat with the love of your life. With a cluster of picturesque islands, an abundance of natural beauty, green carpet of paddy fields and mangrove forests and unparallel tranquillity, this enchanting backwater destination in Kerala is sure to captivate the imagination and admiration of young couples.

Ooty – Get Pampered by its Romantic Ambience:

Head to Ooty this Valentine’s Day with your partner and get pampered by its romantic ambience. Rightly called the ‘Queen of Hill Stations‘, Ooty is a spellbinding romantic destination in the state of Tamil Nadu, bestowed with rolling tea gardens, lush green forests full of rich flora and fauna, beautiful rose gardens, exquisite hilly landscapes, lovely sceneries and year-round pleasant weather.

Andaman Islands – A Love Getaway Filled with Adventure:

A blissfully isolated romantic heaven, Andaman Islands is full of amazing surprises that offers you and your beloved a love getaway filled with jaw-dropping adventures. This stunning Indian archipelago is exceptionally beautiful with sun-kissed beaches, turquoise waters, spectacular coral reefs, undulating blue mountains, and scenic landscapes and is teeming with a variety of adventure activities from daring scuba diving to the thrilling helicopter ride.

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Vagamon – To Enjoy Some Romantic Moments With Your Soulmate:

The lovely hill station embellished with lush green meadows, rolling tea gardens, flowery valleys, misty slopes, charming waterfalls, and beautiful pine forest, Vagamon makes for a mesmerizing setting to enjoy some romantic moments with your soulmate. Known for its breathtaking natural beauty and offering adventure activities like paragliding, mountaineering, and many more, Vagamon is recognized as an incredible eco-tourism cum adventure spot in Kerala.

Kabini – To Discover the Royal Feel of Elephant Safari with Your Love:

Venture into the wild and discover the royal feel of an elephant safari with your love at Kabini, an astounding tourist spot and a famous wildlife destination in KarnatakaIt forms an amazing place to visit in South India on Valentine’s Day for those couples who admire wildlife. The place is blessed with rich flora and fauna and the couples can enjoy some memorable moments amidst the lush greenery and imposing waterfalls of Kabini.

Kudremukh – Give a Cool Adventurous twist for your Romantic Date:

Visit Kudremukh, a breathtaking mountain range in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka on this Valentine’s Day and give a cool adventurous twist for your romantic date. The presence of gorgeous grasslands, rolling meadows, abundant floral and faunal diversity and dense forests makes it a wealthy bio-diversity hotspot. The thrilling mountainous path of Kudremukh offers an unforgettable trekking trail with amazing scenic vistas.

Coorg (Scotland of India) – For The Romantic Duo who Love Nature: 

Coorg is one of the best places to spend this Valentine’s Day for the romantic duo who love nature. One of the most endearing destinations in KarnatakaCoorg is remarkable for its breathtakingly exotic scenery, lush greenery, endless coffee plantations and perpetually misty landscape. The place lures you with its mesmeric natural beauty and blissful ambience and no wonder why it is nicknamed as ‘Scotland of India’.

Vizag – A Vibrant City for Eternal Love:

Well-heeled with natural spectacles and manmade surprises, Vizag is a vibrant city for eternal love to celebrate an unforgettable Valentine’s Day with the love of your life. Dotted with sky-scraping mountain ranges, beautiful beaches epitomized with serenity, breathtaking natural caves and picturesque sceneries, Vizag is the pride of Andhra Pradesh and it makes for an ideal romantic escapade with your soulmate.

Lakshadweep – To Drench in the Magic of Love:

Lakshadweep boasts a hundred thousand islands for you to drench in the magic of love with each other. A mesmerizingly beautiful and awe-inspiring Indian archipelago, the real charm of Lakshadweep lies in their remoteness making it an ideal place to take your partner on this Valentine’s Day. Exotic sun-kissed sandy beaches, lush green landscape, emerald waters, colourful coral reefs, abundant flora and fauna, etc makes for captivating natural spectacle at Lakshadweep.

Pondicherry – To Treat Your Partner with a Romantic Candle Light Dinner amidst rustic French Charm:

Pondicherry, the ‘French Riviera of the East‘ is yet another dreamy escapade for couples on Valentine’s Day. It’s fun to treat your partner with a romantic candlelight dinner amidst rustic French charm of Pondicherry and the whole romantic ambience will certainly light your flame! This former French colony in India offers an amazing fusion of traditional Indian sensibilities and stunning French architecture.

Gokarna – For Lovers Looking for a Much Relaxed Valentine’s Day:

An amazing blend of unmatched tranquillity and natural splendour, Gokarna is an ideal pick for lovers looking for a much relaxed Valentine’s Day. An off-beat vacation spot and a soul-soothing beach location in KarnatakaGokarna is mystically spellbinding with a stunning contrast of blue sea and golden sands embellished with swaying coconut trees and palm groves.

Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers, but it is for anyone and everyone whom you share the emotion of love with. It can be parents, siblings, husband, wife, children, and loved ones. So, celebrate this beautiful day with those people whom you love and care.

Kerala: Pregnant elephant dies a painful death after eating pineapple

The latest incident is from Kerala, where a pregnant elephant died a slow & painful death after being fed a pineapple stuffed with country made crackers. If the very thought of it leaves you startled, just think of the unbearable pain the elephant must have gone through before she died.

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It is a matter of shame for the entire country, that horrific incidents such as these occur repeatedly, and with an alarming frequency. One is appalled and left seething over such brutality against nature & its lovely creatures.

Details of the incident

The horrific incident occurred in the outer areas of the Silent Valley Forest in the village of Attappadi, in the Palakkad district of Kerala, where the 15 year old elephant had gone in search of food. It is alleged that the villagers fed her the pineapple filled with fire crackers.

The explosion of the crackers was so powerful that it caused massive injuries to her tongue & month. This made her incapable of consuming any food, even as she wandered the village in pain and hunger.

Finally, in spite of her unbearable pain, she somehow reached the Velliyar River in Malappuram district. Photos of the elephant, shared by Mohan Krishnan, the Forest Section Officer, on Facebook, showed the elephant standing in the river with her mouth & trunk immersed in the water. He said she must have done this to alleviate the pain & avoid flies collecting on her injuries.

Officials became aware of the critical condition of the elephant only on 25th May, two days before she died. However, she died on 27th May at 4:00 PM. They brought two captive elephants, Surendran & Neelkanthan, to extract the dead elephant from the river. She was still standing in the river at the time of her death, trying to avoid the pain, insects & flies.

Finally, the dead pregnant elephant was cremated by the forest officials after being carried into the forest in a truck. She suffered while she lived, betrayed by the very people whom she chose to believe in, but who, in turn, had no qualms in torturing her.

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Investigation launched into the incident

The police sprung into action after becoming aware of the incident by filing an FIR (First Information Report) against unknown persons under the relevant sections of the Wildlife Protection Act. According to the officials, the elephant consumed the pineapple either in late April or early May.

Forest Officer Aashique Ali U, commenting on the incident, said, “We don’t know when the incident happened. But because of the starvation and shrinking of the elephant, we suspect that it would have happened around 20 days ago.”

Meanwhile, a postmortem launched into the incident revealed that the elephant had died due to asphyxia as water had filled her lungs and trachea. Dr. David Abraham, Assistant Forest Veterinary Officer, Thrissur, who conducted the postmortem, said, “I have so far done more than 250 postmortems of elephants alone in my more than two decades career. But this was the first time I was so moved as I could hold the foetus of the baby in my hands. Initially, none of us was aware that the elephant was pregnant. After seeing her heart, I spotted the amniotic fluid and realized that she was pregnant.”

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Outrage & sympathy poured in from all quarters

The shocking incident caught the attention of renowned celebrities and other well known personalities who took to social media to vent their outrage. They expressed the deepest sympathy with the elephant & lashed out at the perpetrators of the crime, hoping that the accused would be brought to justice soon.

One amongst these was Ratan Tata, the veteran industrialist, who described the inhuman act as a “meditated murder”, and hoped that justice would be delivered at the earliest. In a Twitter post, Ratan Tata (@RNTATA2000) wrote, “I am grieved and shocked to know that a group of people caused the death of an innocent, passive, pregnant elephant by feeding the elephant with a pineapple filled with firecrackers. Such criminal acts against innocent animals are no different than acts of meditated murder against other humans. Justice needs to prevail.”

Celebrities take to social media to condemn the heinous act

Randeep Hooda, Akshay Kumar, Anushka Sharma & Shraddha Kapoor took to twitter to express their outrage & condemn this barbaric crime.

In his Twitter post, Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) wrote, “Maybe animals are less wild and humans less human. What happened with that #elephant is heartbreaking, inhumane and unacceptable! Strict action should be taken against the culprits.”

Similarly, Anushka Sharma, in her Instagram post, shared a beautiful and moving sketch containing an imaginary conversation between the mother elephant & its baby. The captions in the sketch itself show the irony of the entire incident, whereby both the elephant & its baby are thankful to the humans for sharing food with them, not knowing that that very food would be the cause of their death.

Must See Places to visit in Mahabalipuram

Counting the list of traditional towns of India, Mahabalipuram is one of the towns located on the sea-side. The town rules for its artsy golden beaches, attractive historical monuments and much more. This all makes Mahabalipuram one of the unforgettable destinations.

The town always welcomes a large crowd of tourists throughout the year especially from Puducherry and Chennai. Popular by the name of Mamallapuram, this tourist destination is filled with cafes which lead to the oceanfront, cuisines restaurants, basking and surfing, and much more.

Mahabalipuram

While the mornings can be devoted to the historical temples there, the afternoons can be spent seeing some architectural places and dining at some delicious seafood items. So, are you planning a trip to Mahabalipuram? Here are some destinations you should not miss out for a holistic experience. Explore the list of must see places to visit in Mahabalipuram

1. The Captivating Beaches of Mahabalipuram

Want to have a rejuvenating vacation this time? The golden beaches of Mahabalipuram are surely going to help you out. A major crowd is experienced at the beaches of this coastal town which stretches to nearly 20 km. The coastline is divided into two, providing you with two attractive beaches, Pallava Beach and Mahabalipuram Beach.

The beaches are widely visited by various foreign tourists for rejuvenation and revitalizing the entire soul, mind, and body. The golden sand on the beach ends provide you with an opportunity to visualize the mesmerizing beauty of the beach and the adorable sunset or sunrise. Basking in the warmth of the sun and the tasty coconut water is sure to capture your hearts.

Be it a family holidayhoneymoon, or merely a casual trip with friends, the beaches provide a number of beach activities for every age group. Some sports that excite the adventure lovers at these beaches are kite surfing, windsurfing, surfing, boat rides, quad bike rides and much more.

2. Incredibly Inspiring Arjuna’s Penance

This is among the primary attractions of the tourists visiting Mahabalipuram. Counted among the most ancient and greatest artworks of India, Arjuna’s Penance is a rock work combining two monolithic rocks. The rock work represents the penance of Arjuna which he carried out for gratifying Lord Shiva for getting the celestial weapon very impressively.

The rock carries several carvings which display the scenes from Hindu Mythology including human figures, animals and God images, by giving them the form of a sculpture. The site is situated at a height of around 43 feet which stretches with a length of around 100 feet. The hard work is also praised and included in the list of masterpieces of the world by the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The open-air sculpture is among the intricate Indian art pieces carved with the utmost detailed work.

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3. Dredge into the Marvelous Structure of Thirukadalmallai

It is a historical monument which is popular for the structure and arts, and it carries the Thirukadalmallai. The structure was craved during the rule of the Pallava Kings in around 6th to 8th century BCE. Also, known as the Sthalasayana Perumal Temple, this is among the 108 temples of Lord Vishnu in India. The temple is entirely crafted in the Dravidian Pallava architectural style. It still remains crowded with devotees for offerings and other religious activities during festivals.

The prayers and offerings during the ceremonies are quite popular and connected with ancient rituals. For the prayer ceremonies, the temple doors are open for the devotees from morning 6 to 12 in the afternoon and from 3 in the afternoon to 8.30 in the evening. During the entire day, a total number of 6 prayers and rituals are offered and performed. Again, while visiting Thirukadalmallai, one must not forget to visit the gopuram which is a monumental tower. It is in white color which has ravishing beauty compared to other gopurams in golden around the temple and the entire Mahabalipuram.

4. The Largest Seashell Museum and Aquariums

Listed in the list of best Museums and Aquariums of India, India Seashell Museum and Aquarium is popular for the largest collection of seashells. For the people willing to study marine life, this Museum and Aquarium is the treasured place to be in. The monumental place adores around 40000 different types of unique shells along with fossils, shark teeth, and whale fins too. Covering an area of around 2 acres, this museum and aquarium also includes a boutique named Maya Bazaar where you can purchase various marine items like seashells, pearls, conch, etc.

The beautifying jewelry in pearl and various other artifacts are something that would surely steal your heart. Again, for the seafood lovers, not visiting the scrumptious restaurants and the delicious ice-cream parlors would be a failure. The places serve with mouthwatering seafood varieties along with a wide variety of desserts which you shall never forget. With a minimal entry fee of Rs. 150, you can enjoy an entire day in the aquarium and the souvenir shops.

5. The Magnificent Shore Temple

This picture-perfect place in Mahabalipuram is located on the Coast of the Bays which is quite captivating for the tourists. The masterpiece Pagoda is built using granite that contrasts both the sky and the sea, making it a memorable place to visit. The monument is given the name due to the closeness it comes with the shore. However, the actual name of the monument is still unknown.

According to various facts, the Shore Temple is considered to be the only complex existing among the seven shrines which have survived after the deadly Tsunami. The temple is inclusive of three sanctums where 2 are dedicated to Lord Shiva and 1 to Lord Vishnu. No doubt, the sanctums are slightly defaced, the still stand among the best rock sculptures with a single rock. Apart from the two sanctums, the temple also includes various small shrines that entirely complement the Pagoda.

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6. The Mythical Pancha Rathas

It is located on the Southern end of Mahabalipuram. Pancha Rathas is another monument that is mostly visited for the architectural beauty it is craved with. The place houses the Pancha Rathas or the five chariots which are craved with artistic skills from granite. The sculptures are again another example of the Dravidian architectures related to the Pandavas from the era of Mahabharata. The chariots are named on the names of the Pandavas. The architectural premises include a temple in the shape of a hut which is dedicated to Queen Draupadi.

There is a huge sculpture as you enter the hut of Goddess Durga. The place also includes the Ratha of Arjuna which is entirely dedicated to Mahadev, or Lord Shiva. It is also sculpted with images of Gods, Goddesses, and human beings too. There is another chariot named Yudhisthira which is devoted to Lord Shiva and has various sculpture forms of Lord Shiva. There are two more Rathas that are devoted to Lord Indra, known as the Nakul and Sahadeva Rathas which carry the sculptures of Nandi and an elephant along with other animals. Lastly, there is a mammoth Ratha that is named after and devoted to Lord Bhima. The legendary place dwells in the rustic beauty of the destination.

7. The Appealing Butterball of Lord Krishna

Mahabalipuram is filled with various attractions, but the gigantic Butterball of Lord Krishna surely comes with its own uniqueness. The ball is a huge granite boulder and is among the most visited place in the town. The Butterball is on top of a hill which stands around 16 feet tall without any hitch.

According to some facts, the rock was once pulled by 7 elephants for a trial to bring it down the slope, but the practice failed. The scientists are still working on the reason why the rock is standing still on the hill for around 1200+ years. However, no one is able to still figure it out. The surprising historic monument is not only the center of attraction for the visitors but also among the unsolved mysteries for the scientists and the archeologists.

8. Explore the Dakshina Chitra Museum

It is located on the outskirts of Mahabalipuram. Dakshina Chitra Museum is a place which would allow you to explore the lives of the people living humbly in the Southern states. Counted among the culturally living museums, it brings to you a collection of fine craft and art evolving with architecture and the Southern lifestyles of India. The place homes 18 authentic and historic houses all in different patterns or designs.

The destination allows you to enjoy various activities to spend your entire day as well as provides you with an opportunity to learn some of the crafts. The Museum was established with the purpose of preserving and promoting the lifestyles and culture of the Southern States for learning its importance and benefits from the heritage.

Along with all these, some other destinations in the list include the Crocodile Farm, the Mamallapuram Dance Festival, the Cave Temples, Ganesha Ratha, Tiger Caves, Sculpture Museum, Nithya Kalyana Perumal Temple, Mudaliar Kuppam, and many more.

Weekend Destinations in South India that are Perfect for the Monsoon

Rain and romance go hand-in-hand, but when we think of the Indian monsoon muddy streets, slippery driveways, clogged drains, humid air and water logged roadways creating havoc generally come to mind.monsoon

But that is not the whole truth about Indian monsoons, while the over-crowded busy cities do drudge the monsoon days skipping stoned on water-logged streets to get to work, but there are still amazingly scenic places not too far from south Indian cities where the lush green blossom unabated during the monsoon months.

Here are the best weekend destinations in South India that are perfect for the monsoon season:

1. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu

This is a hill station that breathes the fresh monsoon moist air perfectly with the decorated dark clouds hovering over it, and the green spreads sprawling around it. It is situated at the Palani Hills of the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu, offering breath-taking views of the Ghats and the hills around it, enchanting waterfallslakes and lush greenery. The closest rail head is at Palani station 64 km away, airports are located at Madurai 135 km, and Coimbatore 170 km, also at Trichy at 200 km away. By road one can also drive from Bangalore which is a 9 hour drive i.e. 450 km.

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2. Andaman and Nicobar Islands

This is a group of nearly 570 islands abode the Bay of Bengal, which has the most amazing wildlife, great panoramic views of the blue ocean all around, dense forests, pristine beaches, the thrill of various water-sports and amazing tribal tour.

The perfect land which inspired many famous fictional tales the islands never fail to amaze any soul and is one of the best monsoondestinations in India and perfect weekend destinations in South India during monsoon.

Regular ships for passengers are available from Kolkata, Vishakapattanam, Chennai and direct flight connection exists with Port Blair airport from all the major cities.

3. Coorg, Karnataka

There is something beautiful about the hills, its vast spread of greenery and sprawling valleys that just makes monsoon month’s all the more spectacular. All the trees look refreshingly alive drenched with the monsoon showers, the dark clouds and cool winds over the mountain ranges poke into the imagination of all souls as our views often get cloudy due to the collection of heavy clouds outside the window!

Coorg is best known for its forests, and is also one of the most revered biodiversity hotspots in Karnataka exhibiting a number of flora and fauna. Waterfalls, lakes, sprawling coffee plantations coupled with nice folks and great eateries make up for the perfect monsoon destination in the south India and also perfect weekend destinations.

The Mysore airport is the nearest situated 120 km away, one can also avail the Mangalore airport which is at 135 km awayBangalore is situated 260 km away and is a 5 hour drive; the city of Coorg does not have a station of its own but can be reached from Mysore, Mangalore and Hassan. Notable spots include Pushpagiri wildlife sanctuary and Jog Falls amongst many others.

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4. Munnar, Kerala

Kerala aptly named as God’s own country is home to the amazing hill station Munnar. The town is gifted with vast tea gardens, sprawling greenery pleasant weather, a silvery mist of romanticism always hovering over it that makes it the perfect weekend getaway near the south. This is one of the crowd favorites when it comes to monsoon holidays.

The closest rail heads are situated at Aluva and Ernakulam, in Kerala. One can also drive from Kochin which is only 3 hours 40 mins away i.e. 130 km. the closest airports are also at Kochin 110 km and at Madurai international airport 140 km away.

The Most beautiful tourist places in Telangana India

Telengana is a newly declared state in India, being its 29th which was earlier a part of Andhra Pradesh. It was declared as a state on the 2nd of June, 2014 and consists of 10 districts in total. These were earlier a part of the state of Andhra Pradesh, and were major important cities in the south. Now including the very own capital of Andhra Pradesh – Hyderabad is a part of Telengana.

The meaning of Telengana is to distinguish people who speak Telugu from those of the Marathawada region. The state has a rich cultural heritage with a hot and dry climate, and several proud architectural wonders to boast of.

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One of the famous royal dynasties of the country, the Sathavahanas was once the presiding power over this state. They were followed by several other legendary rulers like Vakataka, Chalukyas, and Rashtrakutas. However, it is believed that the Golden period of the state of Telengana was under the reign of the Kakatiya dynasty.

The 14th Century witnessed the rising of the Nizams of Hyderabad, when it came under the Delhi Sultanate and witnessed its glorious developments as a princely state.

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#Hyderabad: Telengana

The capital of Telangana and also the largest city of the state, this is also the capital for the State of Andhra Pradesh until the declaration of a new capital for the state. The city is an eclectic mix of urbanization presiding by the side of historic monuments.

The city is also home to the popular Telugu Film Industry, the second largest industry of motion pictures within the country. Notable architectural splendors that are a must-see here include – Charminar, Golkonda Fort, Salar-Jung museum, the local markets, pearl shopping, tasting the local cuisine is also something that a traveler shouldn’t miss while in South India.

#Warangal: Telengana

Fairly close to the Capital city of Hyderabad, another large city in the state of Telengana. This city is home to a number of ancient temples and monuments. Places like the Pakhal Lake, the thousand pillar temple, among others are the main historic marvels to see here.

#Khammam: Telengana

The name of this city comes from a hill of the same name located in the area. The river Godavari covers about 250 Kilometers of this city coming from Warangal district. The city is highly rich in coal mines and is known as the “Coal Town of South India”. The attractions in the city include forts, temples, lakes, and hot springs.

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#Nizamabad: Telengana

Also located at the banks of Godavari River, this is another major city in Telengana. Famous for its historic monuments, temples and friendly locals. Also the Pocharam Wildlife Sanctuary is situated near the Pocharam Lake in Nizamabad and contains a rich array of flora and fauna. The Nizamabad Fort is also a must-see place to visit when in Telengana.

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#Adilabad: Telengana

This is the second largest city in this state and is very well-known for its handicrafts. This area is very distinguished for its other neighboring states of Karimnagar and Nizamabad. There is also the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary located in this city which is home to a number of species of animals like, panther, crocodile, tiger etc.